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Matt Smith

Matt Smith

Taking a voyage across the world of energy with ClipperData’s Director of Commodity Research. Follow on Twitter @ClipperData, @mattvsmith01

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U.S. Gulf Coast Refiners Are Bouncing Back

Nearly twenty days (or over 450 hours) after Hurricane Harvey made landfall between Port Aransas and Port O'Connor in Texas, there are a number of signs emerging in our ClipperData that the refinery hub of the U.S. is returning to some semblance of normalcy. Hark, here are but three such examples:

Crude waiting offshore is gradually dropping after peaking at the beginning of the week at 31 million barrels - the highest since January. At the start of the week, we saw nearly 50 dirty tankers in the U.S. Gulf, as a backlog built up, ready to deliver to Texas ports as refineries restart.

(Click to enlarge)

Waterborne crude imports into the U.S. Gulf Coast have averaged 3 million barrels per day for 2017, until recent weeks. Arrivals dropped to close to 1mn bpd in the trading week immediately after Hurricane Harvey's landfall, before rebounding back above 2mn bpd last week. Although flows to Texas ports were halted amid the hurricane, we saw higher volumes heading to Louisiana ports instead. Imports are now resuming to key Texas ports.

(Click to enlarge) Related: WTI Breaks $50 As Bullish Sentiment Builds

While crude imports rebound, we see a similar trend playing out for product exports. After they dropped precipitously amid Hurricane Harvey, we are seeing them rebounding across the board - from LPG to fuel oil, to gasoline and diesel. Nonetheless, just as with crude imports, product exports are yet to return to their former glory, with so much refinery capacity still offline.

(Click to enlarge)

By Matt Smith

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